What happened to the trees at Treadwell Park? Nineteen of the existing locust trees have been removed, “much to the shock of many who visited [Monday, April 15],” said Parks Superintendent Carl Samuelson. After hearing concerns that the trees were “gone forever,” he said, “It is really the start of a better solution,” adding, “We are putting back more [trees] than we took down.”
The locusts, which had served their “useful life,” according to Mr Samuelson, were starting to create safety issues, as well as blocking the parking lot lighting.
Through a generous donation at no cost to the town, the trees have been removed and will be replaced by 26 Zelkova trees, which will be planted on a future date. The trees are a donation stemming from 12/14.
Parks and Recreation Department Director Amy Mangold said, “Another great piece of this donation is that it came with funding for future care and custody for the trees.” The added funding for care is “very important,” so the “special donations in honor of the victims are not forgotten.”
The Zelkova trees are very urban-tolerant “with beautiful fall color,” Mr Samuelson said. The branching habit, along with its root structure make the tree “a great selection for the site and soil conditions at Treadwell. We anticipate these trees to be a 50-plus-year addition to the park.”
Mr Samuelson said that in recent years “we knew we needed to do something; we started having more and more issues with dead wood, disease, and branches coming down.” While he has been planning on how to budget and accomplish to tree project, the recent donation made it immediately possible, he said.
The locust stumps will soon be removed and then replaced by the new trees, which will have a 35- to 40-foot spread at maturity. They will be planted about 40 feet apart.